New nature restoration fund launched

GRANTS are being made available to projects to restore and improve the natural environment, in a new initiative launched jointly by the Scottish Government and its agency, NatureScot.

Says the Scottish Government, of the scheme which has a fund total of £1.8m, projects might include woodland creation, marine enhancement and peatland restoration – but not exclusively.

Applicants might include landowners, farmers, community groups and environment organisations, and the new scheme is called the Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland.

A Scottish Government announcement, here, says: “NatureScot is offering grants of up to £120,000 through the Facility for Investment Ready Nature in Scotland (FIRNS). Applicants to FIRNS are also encouraged to apply for co-funding through project grants of up to £120,000 from the National Lottery Heritage Fund.”

It adds: “Applications are encouraged from eNGOs, community groups, land owners, farmers and other private sector organisations, individually or in consortia. Projects will be expected to be developed in line with Scottish Government’s interim principles for responsible private investment in natural capital.

“Over the next two months, NatureScot, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Green Finance institute will host a series of seminars and workshops to support applicants to understand the different stages of the investment-readiness project development pathway.”

Adds NatureScot, here: “The Green Finance Institute (here) estimates that between £15 billion and £27 billion, in addition to current public funding, is needed over the next ten years to restore nature across Scotland.

“Much of this will have to come from the private sector. Whilst this remains an ambitious target, restoring and protecting naturally functioning ecosystems has repeatedly been shown to provide cost-effective and durable solutions that often provide better value than grey technology and engineering.”

Pictures credit: Place Design Scotland

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